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Putin heads to Vatican and Italy on one-day visit

The Russian delegation will include ministers and business representatives

TASS, July 4. Russian President Vladimir Putin, after a four-year hiatus, will pay a one-day official visit to Italy and Vatican on Thursday.

According to Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov, the Russian leader will begin his visit with Vatican City. He said that international topics would be touched upon at the talks with Pope Francis. "It is very important to note that the parties approach from close or practically identical positions such important international topics as combating terrorism and religious extremism, preventing environmental and man-made disasters, protecting Christians in conflict zones, upholding common humanist values, developing interreligious, inter-civilizational dialogue," Ushakov said.

He noted that the program of Putin’s official visit to Rome includes a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the format of a working breakfast and talks with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, followed by a press conference.

The Russian delegation will include ministers and business representatives, in particular, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Chairman of VEB Igor Shuvalov, Head of Rosneft Igor Sechin, Head of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, Head of RDIF Kirill Dmitriev.